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Old 03-05-11, 05:38 PM   #1
TromboneAl
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How do YOU Avoid Neck Pain?

From another thread, it seems that a number of us deal with neck soreness. Mine comes and goes.

Currently my strategy is to have the handlebars about level with the seat, and try to stretch/roll shoulders periodically while riding. I also try to keep my head down a bit, looking to the middle distance through the top of my glasses.

Any other strategies or tips?
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Old 03-05-11, 07:05 PM   #2
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Perfect fit is one thing. You also need validation/clearance that you have no ortho or neuro problems that manifest themselves to create the pain. If those hurdles are passed, the next piece is to get your body prepared to deal with neck pain and overcome it. The biggest part is working with a QUALIFIED physical therapist/personal trainer (NASM certified) to strengthen the specific and supporting areas to help you eliminate, or minimize, pain. The trainer needs to know what you are experiencing and what your goals are in order to be able to help you. I have been down this path with back surgery and rehabilitation, and IMHO, a qualified personal trainer (and massage therapist working in conjunction with my PT) is invaluable. With the right help, I was able to go from riding 10 miles with a lot of pain to doing multiple double centuries with very little pain. Doubles are going to hurt, no matter how much you are in shape, so that is the caveat.
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Old 03-05-11, 07:19 PM   #3
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Strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, back and neck. You can do that with the machines in a gym.
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Old 03-05-11, 08:47 PM   #4
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Drugs. But outwest5's idea is better.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:08 PM   #5
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My biggest pain in the neck was my ex. Sixteen years now pain-in-the-neck-free.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:22 PM   #6
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Strengthen the muscles of the shoulders, back and neck. You can do that with the machines in a gym.
+1 Although we purchased equipment that allows me to do this at home. If I don't keep on top of my upper body routine, my neck is the first thing to remind me that I'm being negligent. IMO fit is the first step, but it may not be enough. Depending on how much you ride, you may need more strength than the typical person to keep your head up at an angle that allows you to see the road.
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Old 03-05-11, 09:29 PM   #7
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I find a good bike fitting is one of the key factors, along with just riding a lot and keeping teh neck stretched. The more I ride with my well fitting road bike, the more comfortable my neck is. I ride on the bar tops and in the drops to be sure and stretch my neck on every ride. As a result I never get soreness i the neck, even with regular long rides (80-110 miles). I think this combination would work for all, and I think that the body is very adaptable if you set up a program that stretches the neck over time. Ride, ride ride!

My set up
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Old 03-05-11, 11:37 PM   #8
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Upright riding.
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Old 03-06-11, 01:21 AM   #9
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Upright riding.
It's the necks best thing.
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Old 03-06-11, 02:00 AM   #10
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No neck pain for me. Found the proper set up for me, have all the measurements and check them from time to time. Also, somewhere read or saw an article on how when lions attack they stretch out their spines and necks. When i started riding again in 09 i looked at my shadow and made sure not to hunch my shoulders, but to stretch out as much as possible my spine and neck. Now it is second nature.
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Old 03-06-11, 07:59 AM   #11
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Raising the handlebars is the best thing I've done. My neck started bothering me whenever I was riding my Trek 560, I raised the handlebars about 1/4 inch and the pain went away. I went from 23 to 25 mm tires, dropped 10PSI and the ache in my wrists disappeared as well.
My new Hunqapillar is set with the handlebars just above the seat level and after my first 25 mile ride I had now aches, pains or stiffness anywhere.

http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...g-over-me.html

Marc
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Old 03-06-11, 08:12 AM   #12
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My biggest pain in the neck was my ex. Sixteen years now pain-in-the-neck-free.
Is it true that she tells everyone you were a much bigger pain to her, where she sits down?

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Old 03-06-11, 03:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
I find a good bike fitting is one of the key factors, along with just riding a lot and keeping teh neck stretched. The more I ride with my well fitting road bike, the more comfortable my neck is. I ride on the bar tops and in the drops to be sure and stretch my neck on every ride. As a result I never get soreness i the neck, even with regular long rides (80-110 miles). I think this combination would work for all, and I think that the body is very adaptable if you set up a program that stretches the neck over time. Ride, ride ride!
Agreed. Most problems are due to 1) a big increase in miles over what you've been doing, 2) a poor fit, or 3) some physical problem.

For most people, the solution to neck pain is just gradually increase your mileage. A good massage from time to time will also help.
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Old 03-06-11, 09:04 PM   #14
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Ones back angle is set by saddle to bar distance as well as bar height. On my mountain bike, the bar is about 1.5" below the saddle, but my back angle is the same as my road bike which has the bar the same height as the saddle. I keep my back angle at 45 to 50 degrees (on the hoods for road) and never have had a neck issue. I have had a lower back issue once in a while, but a hyper-extension bench/Roman chair took care of that.

When I set up a bike, I always set my back angle. The wife does the measurement while I brace against a work bench with my knee.

Some folks just have neck issues I think. My wife suffers from that periodically and has all her life.

Al
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Old 03-06-11, 09:32 PM   #15
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I raised my Cinelli 1A stem to minimum insertion height, which is still almost 9 cm below the nose of my saddle but that's not a comfort issue for me. The thing that really helped was removing the visor from my cheapie Bell helmet - makes looking ahead much easier!
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Old 03-06-11, 09:52 PM   #16
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I changed the way my bike fits.
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Old 03-07-11, 12:47 AM   #17
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Raising the bar should help but a good overall fit is best. Spend a few bucks and get a good bike fit to make sure everything else is where it should be.
Also make sure that you are riding with your elbows bent a little so that your arms can can absorb the road shock. Otherwise the road shock will be transferred to your shoulders and neck.
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Old 03-08-11, 03:09 PM   #18
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Old 03-08-11, 04:08 PM   #19
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A LWB recumbent did the trick for me, too. There's nothing quite like riding into the scenery, back straight with lumbar support, neck and shoulders relaxed and in a natural position. Taking in the view is great. bk
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Old 03-08-11, 07:53 PM   #20
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See a good chiropractor & have them keep your neck loose & in line. I do push ups to keep my muscles strong & keep my bars high, can still use the drops when I draft with friends. I have a neck full of arthritis.
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Old 03-09-11, 11:04 AM   #21
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Proper fit, and (for me) this:



rather than this:
Roubaix.jpg
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Old 03-09-11, 12:15 PM   #22
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I just don't ride my Road bike [RB1] much anymore. it's lovely though..

My Trekking bars are set up Higher than the saddle on the bike I do ride more..
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Old 03-09-11, 12:23 PM   #23
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Proper fit, and (for me) this:



rather than this:
Attachment 192899
Interesting. Are you saying that rotating your wrists about 90 degrees inward prevents neck pain?
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Old 03-09-11, 01:01 PM   #24
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I have used this and Lortabs for the last three months, feels great.
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Old 03-09-11, 03:00 PM   #25
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Interesting. Are you saying that rotating your wrists about 90 degrees inward prevents neck pain?
If you mean "rotating one's wrists back and forth through about 90 degrees, moving from grips to bar ends and back to grips etc., thereby reducing a build up of tension/stress through the arms/shoulders/neck/upper back on long rides" helps prevent neck pain, then yes, it does, for me at least (for reasons explained to me in much more precise/technical language by my physiotherapist).
There are other reasons for my particular bike set-up/preferences, but that is certainly one of them.
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